A big thank you to Christine Cowan, one of the many talented people that we work with to develop the Pure Michigan campaign. She was kind enough to share what it has meant to her to work on the campaign, and talks about the two newest awards we’ve won.
So…after 15 years in the advertising business, I am embarrassed to admit that I just finally attended my first industry awards show in Detroit. It’s called the “D Show”, and it replaced the long-standing Caddy awards.
I’m just an “account guy” (an industry term for the lackey who nobody likes, and oh btw, I am also a girl) – but it’s my understanding that the awards really exist to recognize the creative work in Detroit – to let people know that we know more than just muscle and cars – we also have a gifted pool of talent. Enter Pure Michigan.
Now I have certainly been a part of teams in the past that have been nominated and even won, but, as I sat in the theater that night, I thought how appropriate that I chose this night, this year, to attend. The Max M. Fisher Theater is quite beautiful, but on that night, it was extra fun – 700 of our closest advertising friends and family gathered to hear who had earned bragging rights for the year. Oddly, I know almost all of them…I think that’s code for I’ve had too many jobs. But really, it just happened to be the path I needed to take to land on the single best account I’ve ever known – Travel Michigan (the travel agency tasked with promoting tourism to the state). The clients, the work, the camaraderie – they are all part of the recipe that created the Pure Michigan campaign in 2006, and hasn’t slowed down since. But to sit in a theater, and hear other people recognize the work, and the campaign, that we eat, sleep and drink, was indescribable. It’s like listening to someone say wonderful things about your children or someone/something near and dear to your heart. In this case, it happens to be an advertising campaign – our job. Who would have ever thought?
So what did we win, you ask? Two awards on this night: a “D Award” for Radio, and a new award introduced this year called “The Joe” award. This award was created to recognize an entry/campaign that rose above all others. What’s special about this award (and only this award), is that the judges for it are the advertising industry journalists. We were most proud to receive this award because it means that those closest to our business, with the power to both compliment and criticize, chose Pure Michigan as the campaign that rose above all others!
As we filed out of the theater with our Group Creative Director, Mark Canavan, proudly wearing the “D” necklace symbolizing our win, the ground swell of congratulations began. Our team gathered into what looked like a receiving line at a wedding, shook hands, and accepted all the congratulatory remarks with pride.
It’s actually taken me a few years to figure out the best response when people compliment the campaign – which happens daily. I really want to say, “I know! Isn’t it just the best?!”, but instead, I have landed on a much more PC response: “Thank you. We are all so proud to work on it.”
So, here’s a toast to Michigan. A toast to Pure Michigan. And a big thank you to the hundreds, even thousands, of people who have touched the work and made it possible. This better be just the beginning!
You can check out all of the award-winning Pure Michigan radio and television commercials on our YouTube channel.
Christine has a B.A. in Communications from Michigan State University and has worked in the advertising industry for over 15 years. Aside from the Michigan tourism, she has worked on a multitude of great brands ranging from The Coffee Beanery to Coleman (camping) to all three of the [Detroit] Big Three (Ford, Chrysler and GM). She is technically from Ohio, but has never looked back since remaining in Michigan after graduating from college. Go Green!